Why Sensitive Souls Need Rituals. ~ Kathryn Nulf

Via Kathryn Nulf on Feb 9, 2014

Not for reuse

There was a good year where I listened to the same album every night as I drifted off to sleep.

I didn’t get tired of it. I loved knowing what to expect. I knew the order of the songs, the way things started and the way the music progressed.

I loved having something familiar there for me night after night before sleep. It was my way of being there for myself again and again.

The lyrics had meaning, sure. I felt their melodies more than the words though, deep to my core.

I didn’t know what a highly sensitive person (HSP) meant at the time. I just knew that I went through life feeling things very intensely. I loved to know what to expect. I loved familiarity (as I was in a strange place, away at college).

And listening to the same album every night was my normal. It felt perfectly natural to me.

It was when I shared it with others that I got a “Huh?” kind of response. I don’t know why, but I thought they would be able to relate, as if they were doing it, too. It just felt so natural to me that I assumed it did for everyone else.

For HSPs, having daily rituals in their lives can help them feel at one with their world, instead of just being overwhelmed by it most of the time.

Having that album play each night before sleep was my start to embracing rituals in my life.

Rituals can have a profound impact on us HSP’s: they calm and ground us, soothe the spirit, slow us down, remind us to live in the present moment, nourish our soul and remind us that we are responsible for our own well-being.

Think about what we love to do: What soothes our soul? What comforts us and brings us to life at the same time?

Rituals have a calming effect on our nervous system because it gives us something to look forward to, that is at once both freeing and grounding. It brings us out of our heads (anyone else live there almost 24/7?) and back into our bodies. It gives us a break from the overthinking mind and lets us rest right here, right now.

Doing rituals on a regular basis (daily if possible) is ideal because it lets us know calm is on the calendar. If we haven’t realized this yet, self-care is of utmost important to HSPs.

So what is an example of a ritual?

We don’t need to listen to the same music every night to be adding in rituals into your life, promise! Spend some time thinking about what grounds us. Because HSPs can live in their heads so much of the time, we need to ask ourselves what brings us back to earth. What grounds us?

Some examples include:

1. Drinking a hot cup of tea each morning while reading a book

2. Walking your dog through your favorite park

3. Listening to music you love while taking a dance break (my personal favorite!)

4. Tuning into yourself through meditation

5.  Stretching your body and breathing

6. Writing in a journal

7. Asking yourself what you are grateful for

Perhaps it’s even a combination of these examples, or something completely different?

If we’re having a hard time figuring out what ritual might work for us, think about what grounds us and brings more balance into our life.

Jot some ideas down and get a good list going that we can refer back to. Try something out for a few days or a week and see how we feel.

At first, it may seem like a lot to ask.

It’s important to remember that HSPs tend to not like structure, unless it is of their own creation. Adding in a daily ritual is doing just that—taking power back into our own hands and creating balance in our life in the process, one ritual at a time.

Bringing in a daily ritual is a way for HSPs to work with their unique trait, not against it.

We need more downtime than the average person, and setting time aside each day for a meaningful ritual is our time to reconnect with ourself.

What comes to mind when we think of a daily ritual? Do we already do something every day that we would consider a ritual?

Leave a comment below and let’s share ideas and support each other.

~

Relephant:

10 Ways to Find Out if You Are Too Sensitive.

 ~

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

 

Assistant Editor: Laura Ashworth/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photos: courtesy of author

 

 

About Kathryn Nulf

As a Certified Health Coach + Yoga Teacher, Kathryn Nulf’s passion is to help highly sensitive people (HSPs) stop stress eating and discover a whole new relationship with food and body, without shame and overwhelm. Read her latest musings on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

 

109,127 views

Appreciate this article? Support indie media!

(We use super-secure PayPal - but don't worry - you don't need an account with PayPal.)

113 Responses to “Why Sensitive Souls Need Rituals. ~ Kathryn Nulf”

  1. Colleen/Onelove says:

    I relate to this article very much. Reading through the 'comments', I can see how some people can misinterpret the use of 'words', language to describe events, which society (especially in the 'west') too often use in the negative, or interpret to mean something it doesn't. Language is a huge barrier in the ever evolving Spiritual Journey or Path (whatever that is for the Individual) as by me just saying 'spiritual' can be misconstrued as a 'certain way' of living. Absolutely not. It is whatever one chooses it to mean. We have be taught a language w/ limits, w/ so many meanings left wide open to 'interpretation' of the individual. Which then leads to one having to 'explain' themselves, when their word 'should' be very clear. The English language, especially, has been deliberately set up to be this way. Open for Interpretation and meaning, bringing confusion at times when clarity is the 'objective'. With all this said, I love and respect the exchange of 'words' as a means of understanding one another, respecting where 'one is coming from' and with the opportunity to grow in awareness of one's own self knowledge. Getting 'stuck' on the singularity of words and their meanings defined by society is soon to 'go out the window' which allows for a whole New set of meaning and dialogue to exist. As for the article, I appreciate the entire 'meaning' behind it. As a HSP, I have come to realize I must set up, almost in a very strict and outlined way, schedule, routine, ritual…All of the Above…in order to live the life I am meant to live. To reach the goals I dream fro myself, otherwise I will put it off until tomorrow. Not because I am lazy, but because I am now more AWARE of my personal needs and understand Who I TRULY AM. I am a procrastinator, for so many reasons I do not have the time or space to list them all. When it comes down to it, I agree wholeheartedly in the importance of making 'commitments' to myself (however I choose to describe them are irrelevant) and following through w/ them. By doing so, I CREATE the life I Truly DESIRE…no one else is left to create it for me!

  2. Cjay says:

    Damn! That was great. I didn't even know 'we' had a name – HSP… I feel a little more normal now, ha. Thank you!

    For the past month I've started something called "Morning Pages". It has completely changed things for me. Basically it's 3 hand written pages of "stream of consciousness" first thing every morning – clears (empties) my head and I am able to tackle the day far better. It's based on 12 week program "the Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. It's been amazing!

    • knulf says:

      I love morning pages, Cjay! I used to do it but have gotten out of it. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks for sharing. :)

      xx,
      Kathryn

    • Carrie says:

      I have gotten out of the habit too but I remember that it helped a lot with my frequent morning worries/issues. Sometimes it feels like we are “taking out the trash” and allowing for joy to replace it. Feels like when we sleep we deal subconsciously with certain issues, but the ones that remain in the morning are our responsibility to solve. Freewriting is a great way!

  3. Sarahsomewhere says:

    This is brilliant, thank you. I have always been sensitive. I drank it away for much of my life, but now that I am sober I am becoming aware again how highly sensitive I am. The world does overwhelm me on a regular basis. It was great to read this now as I have begun to invite ritual into my life. Morning meditation, walks on the beach and yoga, help me to stay grounded. This was a wonderful article and will help many people, thank you!

    • knulf says:

      Thanks for sharing, Sarah! My sensitivity has come front and center since I've gotten sober. It's crazy. I can so relate to what you said. Your beach walks and yoga time sound lovely and grounding. Enjoy!

      xx,
      Kathryn

  4. Kailyn says:

    Reciting Om with deep breaths every morning.

  5. fenghe 鳳翮 says:

    THANKS FOR THE INSIGHTFUL WAY TO PUT SOME WORDS ON THINGS REALLY HARD TO NAME… THIS HELPS A GREAT DEAL THE REFLECTION ON HOW TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN EXTERNAL WORLD STRUCTURES AND HSP'S.

  6. Brooke says:

    This article is seriously about to make me cry. I cannot believe I'm not alone in this stuff I consider so weird and strange about myself. Thank you so much. It feels so goo know others out there are with me and understand. Thank you.

  7. Alison says:

    Thank you for this insight. It is so good to know your not the only one , that others feel and think the same way. For me it's cleaning my house , putting things away . Bringing my home and myself back into balance. People think I am a neat freak , I am not the I just need that calm , quiet space and some order .

  8. Kimi says:

    EVERYONE is an HSP. Let rituals guide us.

  9. bjait says:

    Every night I put on my fav new song and dance as if noone is watching. til my heart beats heavy.

  10. These Little Lights says:

    I resisted rituals for so long I believed that they would restrict my life and create boredom. I am finding the complete opposite to be true. The more rituals I embrace the more free I become

  11. bodykarmabella says:

    I had to stop and check in with myself about 7 times whilst reading this to remind myself I wasn't the one who actually wrote it…ha! It resonated THAT powerfully! I kept copying and pasting excerpts to use as the tagline when I share it on FB and couldn't even choose one! The whole piece is SO amazing! I am totally an HSP and this may have been the most helpful and therapeutic part for me, "Bringing in a daily ritual is a way for HSPs to work with their unique trait, not against it." This was like a breath of fresh air to be reminded how very beautiful this trait can be, and how we can use our attention and mindfulness to hone the trait so as for it to flourish and promote nothing but beneficial energy. Beautiful piece. Sharing far and wide. XX

  12. Lindsey says:

    "Think about what we love to do: What soothes our soul? What comforts us and brings us to life at the same time?" What a great formula for finding our own unique rituals. Love this article, Kathryn. Thanks for bringing it to life.

Leave a Reply